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Super Hero Style or Yawn, Shrug and Muggle?



 “What makes a good agent?”  

You and I could write a multi-chaptered book about the answer. Maybe we will someday. In the meantime, here’s a shortish answer in blog post form. Basically, you have to behave like a Super Hero with multiple personalities.  You’re smart, you can do it if you choose.

Consider this…

Your Job Is Not Selling Real Estate

Happy buyers and sellers are the byproduct of successful service, not Bad-Ass Sales Technique, Shazam Geek Savvy, Cheesy Chest Thumping or Faux Posing.  To grow, last, laugh and enjoy success, don’t focus on selling.  Focus on service.  Here’s what I think our real jobs are, and a few role models who light the way.

Surprise and Stupify – Forest Gump Style

Gump didn’t run around shouting “I’m NUMBER ONE”, “Dig ME”.  He wasn’t brain surgeon smart.  He was candid, curious and sincere.  He ran and ran and ran.  He was humble.  He didn’t brag. He surprised.  He over-delivered.  He had a quirky sense of humor, too.

Are you about “YOU” or “THEM”?  Do you surprise or bore, underwhelm or….?  Are you killjoy serious or ????  

Lead – Joan of Arc Style

Joan didn’t complain and whine.  She didn’t talk about what she was going to do.  She didn’t wait, mope and hope.  She took charge.  She acted.  She committed.  She was passionate about her cause.

Do you lead or bend and noodle with the lemming masses?

Advocate – Johnnie Cochran Style

Johnnie didn’t engage half-assed.  He went strong.  He beamed grace, charm and substance.   He clawed, battled and rhymed a stone cold killer out of the electric chair.  For grins, say it with me, ” If the glove doesn’t fit….”  

Do you drift limping through the motions or are you gracefully fierce?

Love All, Serve All – Mother Teresa Style

Mother Teresa loved all. Served unselfishly.  Forgave.  Burned with quiet compassion.  Shined ego free.  Lived in the now.

Do you hold grudges, prejudge and ego-bloat yourself up or do you flow, give, share, seek to understand and serve?

Prevent Forest Fires – Smokey Style

Smokey preached prevention – fire prevention.  

Don’t let tempers flare.  Keep fiery emotions in check.  Don’t fan the licking flames of gossip.  Keep things and people cool, fresh and fizzy light as a  tall glass of chilled Perrier. Be proactive. 

Do you start and fuel emotional forest fires or do you prevent them? 

Connect & Inspire – Obama Style

Think about the odds.  The audacity.  The journey.  The endurance.  The clarity.  The assuring confidence.  The message and the method. The passion.

Are you devolving Old School or evolving New School?  Do you inspire and arouse or deflate and fast forward flaccidity?


That’s it.  Focus on attractive, empowering characteristics and what you strive for will find you.  Focus on sales, transactions, units, leads and prospects – you’re swimming upstream my friend. 

My three cents.


Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Chris Shouse

    January 2, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I made a big mistake recently. Had a potential client in town one day. I had only a few hours to dazzel him. He only wanted to look at a couple of houses and get to know the area. I made the mistake of not asking what price range. So the houses I chose to show him were a disappointment. He is not moving for a year or so. Can I win his confidence back? Any idea’s on how to dazzel him from a distance now when I blew it?

  2. Sherry Baker

    January 2, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Excellent post, Ken — I think you hit on some of the balls we drop, and some we never pick up! Nobody can be every one of those icons all the time, but if we try to hit some of the best parts of them, we’ll be better and more successful agents than many others out there.

  3. Mimi Harden

    January 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Self-professed real estate junkie here, and I loved this post. The real estate professional profile is one of never-ending fascination to me. I see smart, well-educated friends make critical decisions about the agents they’re going to work with based on the most non-sensical criteria. These transactions are serious business!! A happenstance meeting at an open house isn’t a good basis for such an important relationship – or is it? Guess some of us met our spouses in similar ways. 🙂

    Well, it’s good to set the bar high.


  4. Ken Brand

    January 4, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Chris – If we had $10 for every mistake we make, we could retire. It sounds to me like your bobble is not fatal. Sounds like you have time to recover gracefully and powerfully. I would sign them up with some auto notification for listings that meet their criteria. In our market we have a little local newspaper (community events, etc.), if you do too, I’d send that on a regular basis. I’d also send any articles or web links to community market stuff as well. Bottom line – per usual – make yourself valuable and the Go To Woman for what he desires. Also, as a side note, I wouldn’t set up any direct to him stuff, I’d want to forward it along with a note or a comment. Good luck – it’s yours, go get it.

    Sherry – Thanks. It’s hard enough to slip into super hero character on-demand, let alone two or there…but you’re spot on, when we consciously strive to rise, we rise above the masses. Cheers in the New Year.

    Mimi – Thanks for the compliment. I too find the ebb and flow of our business fascinating. The whipping hot and cold winds of emotion and logic make me cry and laugh and say huh and WTH. That’s what makes our lives rich….and sometimes poor. Go, go, go!

  5. Mack

    January 4, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Very early in my career a wise gentleman told me that the best thing that I could ever do was to “Under Promise and Over Deliver”. Even though I may not succeed, that is what I try to do with every client.

  6. Paula Henry

    January 4, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Ken – This is quite a list, which we should all aim to hit the mark on. The ability to inspire comes from the passion we have for what we are doing. When passion drives us, many of these qualities shine through.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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